Tigers stars set for GB challenge

Telford Tigers will send a trio of key Great Britain stars to next week’s world championships tournament in Italy.

Coach Tom Watkins, defenceman Jonathan Weaver and netminder Thomas Murdy have been named in the GB party that travels to Cortina.

Watkins will work with Pete Russell as assistant coach, while Weaver and Murdy make up two-thirds of the English Premier League contingent.

Tigers General Manager, Paul Thomason, is looking forward to seeing Telford represented in the Division 1B tournament.

He said: “I am so proud of both Jonathan and Thomas, as well as Tom, for their achievements. To represent your country is a massive honour and I know they will do us proud.

“Jonathan is of course incredibly experienced, having played for Great Britain since 1997, while Tom has been rightly recognised as one the game’s best young coaches.

“Thomas is still young, but he is learning all the time. The fact that he’s in the GB world championships squad for the second year running speaks volumes for his ability.”

Weaver was on the scoresheet during both warm-up games against Poland at the weekend, as GB made their final preparations for the trip to Italy.

Thomason added: “Jonathan has proved all year that he is a key player in any situation. If anyone can put in that extra few percent to win important games, it is him.

“I wasn’t surprised at all to see him score in both matches. He spent much of his career as a forward, so he’s got a very good eye for goal.”

GB will face hosts Croatia, as well as Estonia, Lithuania, Romania and Ukraine from 17th to 23rd April in the six-team Division 1B tournament.

Success would see them reach Division 1A – just one level below the likes of Canada, Russia and the United States.

“I have every faith that the boys can bring home promotion,” Thomason said.

“This country has been starved of international success for so long, but we now have a real chance of progressing further towards the top level.

“We competed well against Poland, who are a 1A team, at the weekend and we actually beat them on Sunday. That shows the considerable potential within this GB squad.

“I believe that success at international level would filter down to the domestic game. It would be a great lift for everybody involved in British ice hockey.”

GB SQUAD

Netminders
Ben Bowns – Cardiff Devils, 
Stevie Lyle – Swindon Wildcats, 
Thomas Murdy – Telford Tigers

Defencemen
Josh Batch – Cardiff Devils, 
Mark Garside – Belfast Giants, 
Steve Lee – Nottingham Panthers
, Ben O’Connor – Sheffield Steelers
, David Phillips – Manchester Storm
, Mark Richardson – Cardiff Devils, 
Jonathan Weaver – Telford Tigers

Forwards
Jonathan Boxill – Belfast Giants
, David Clarke – Nottingham Panthers
, Russell Cowley – Coventry Blaze, 
Robert Dowd – Sheffield Steelers, 
Robert Farmer – Nottingham Panthers
, Robert Lachowicz – Nottingham Panthers, 
Evan Mosey – Nottingham Panthers
, Matthew Myers – Nottingham Panthers
, Craig Peacock – Belfast Giants
, Jonathan Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
, Colin Shields – Belfast Giants, 
Ashley Tait – Coventry Blaze
, Ross Venus – Coventry Blaze

Photo of Jonathan Weaver by Scott Wiggins.

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